Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Monday, April 11, 2016

Farm Camp with Niece

I invited our young niece to come stay for a few days and have a "farm camp".  My intention was to time her stay so that she could help me with the milking and care of the goats, then to make several things with the milk so that she could have a farm-to-table experience.  Unfortunately, her spring break didn't exactly line up with the kidding of the goats, so I wasn't milking yet when she was here.

I have to wait until the kids are two weeks old before I start milking for several reasons.  First of all, I want to make sure all the colostrum is gone because it doesn't taste good and I want the babies to get it all anyway.  Secondly, the mothers are still sloughing off the material in their uterus so that they have gunk stuck to their tails and bottoms.  That's kind of gross because there's a possibility that it might fall in the milk.  Thirdly, I usually separate the kids from the mothers at night while I'm milking so that their udders won't be emptied by the babies during the night so that I won't get much in the morning when I go to milk them.  Why go to all that effort of getting up early, milking, and cleaning up, if I only get a pint or two?  So, until the kids are about two weeks old, they are too young to separate from their moms because they need to nurse every few hours.

Anyway...I happened to have a lot of milk in the freezer left over from last year's milking season.  So, we were able to make yogurt (which was a total failure), ricotta cheese, cajeta, and three different kinds of ice cream with that milk.

Niece was very helpful with the goats and she did some chores with Tom, too.  I gave her the main chore of cuddling goats.  That seriously is a time consuming job.  It's important that the baby goats are socialized so that they don't turn out wild.  She spent hours with them and it really has made a difference with this year's crop of babies, especially the meat goats that don't come into the barn every night like the milk goats do.

She learned that it was counter productive to chase them and that it worked out much better to sit quietly and let them come to her.

This one and it's brother were particularly affectionate.

She thought it was hilarious to let them use her as a trampoline and balance beam.

They like to chew on hair.

More jumping.

Sweet kisses.

And cuddles.

And a few nibbles.

East Texas Roses

East Texas is famous for it's roses.  Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Seriously, type in Google search, "rose capital of the world" and see what comes up.

I got serious about my roses this year and after a little Pinterest searching, I pruned them up good and it has really paid off.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the fruits of my labor.

This one is not quite in full bloom, but it is loaded with buds.  I'm amazed at all the different colors on this one bush.

There's this pinkish color.


Reddish orange.

And orange.  It blooms in clusters.

This yellow one is fabulous.  The faded ones have a pink tinge.  It blooms with one large bloom on each stem.

I'm being diligent to cut off the spent blooms to encourage it to bloom all summer.

The irises are making quite a showing, too, but they always do well.

There are just two colors blooming at the moment, but several more to come.